Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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Home » Orchestra News » New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Ratifies Side Letter


New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Ratifies Side Letter

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In September, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra musicians, members of Local 16-248 (Newark/Paterson, NJ), ratified a one-year side-letter agreement that runs retroactively from September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2021.

Under terms of the new side letter, weekly base pay and paid health insurance remains the same, with a 40% reduction in the number of orchestra services, vacation pay cut from 21 days to 14 days, and a freeze on hiring two open positions within the orchestra. The symphony may schedule either in-person or virtual services, but musicians at high risk for COVID-19 may elect to participate in virtual services only. Alternatively, any musician may opt to take the full year or a portion of the year as a “COVID Sabbatical.”

The Orchestra Committee attempted to achieve a contract extension beyond the 2021-22 season but did not receive cooperation from management. Musicians have been frustrated with the symphony’s handling of challenges resulting from the pandemic. Beginning in June, musicians received no payments for 25 services that had been scheduled for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, and salary reductions that management originally proposed for the 2020-21 season would have brought compensation to less than 50% of normal rates.







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